The CDC is encouraging everyone to practice social distancing to combat the spread of covid-19, and exploring the outdoors is a great way to spend time alone. Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites encourages everyone to come spend some time outside. Whether you are a hiker, biker, photographer or fisher, there is something at the parks for everyone to enjoy.
Scroll down for inspiration on how you could get outdoors and enjoy yourself!
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Watch the sunset at Tallulah Gorge
A fact: the sky changes colors twice a day, for free! You can watch a sunset at every park, but watching the gorge during a sunset was how I happily spent many nights by myself. Now that it’s spring, that means the peregrine falcons will start to nest at Tallulah Gorge. If they’re active, you’ll hear a sharp cry before you see them, so keep your eyes open because they fly over 200 miles per hour. The best way to view them is to hike the south rim trail and watch these stunning birds fly through the mountains. And even if they’re not around, watching the sun set on the south rim is an incredible way to spend your evening.
Find some wildlife on the trails
Speaking of wildlife, when you’re alone on the trail, you’re more likely to stumble upon wildlife. If you step quietly you might be able to see bobcats, deer, ospreys, and even bears! If you do run upon a black bear, it’s important to make a lot of noise and make yourself big by waving your arms in the air, however, most black bears will run off as soon as they notice you. The State Parks are a perfect place to see animals out in the wild.
Dust off that old camera and get out there. Even if you only have your phone, there’s so many chances to take awesome pictures at the parks, and you might surprise yourself how fun it is to take a hike and work on getting the exact right shot of a leaf, or in this case, a dog.
The old saying goes “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for his life.” If you have a fishing pole, find a state park near you that offers fishing. You don’t need a boat, as many parks allow fishing from the docks or on the banks. This spotted bass was caught at Laura S. Walker State Park in Waycross, GA. Some of the best parks to fish at include Seminole State Park, Elijah Clark, and Hard Labor Creek.
Hike the Gahuti trail at Fort Mountain
You can find a good hiking trail anywhere, but there’s only a few GREAT hiking trails. The Gahuti trail at Fort Mountain is one of them. The 8 mile trail features beautiful overlooks of the Cohutta wilderness and crosses mountain streams and waterfalls. In the spring, you can pass through the rhododendron forest and see blooms of white flowers. If 8 miles is a little too much for one day, hike the one-mile round-trip trail to the West overlook and watch the sunset.
Paddle at George L. Smith
Experience the inspiring swamp of George L. Smith. The cypress trees make the scenery look like something out of a Lord of the Rings movie, and on smooth days the reflection off the black water gives the illusion you are gliding on a mirror. Even without a boat, there are trails to walk along the lake and watch the many birds that call the Park home.